Listen up! Two European hearing technology companies recently announced a new type of hearable. Mimi Hearing Technology is a Berlin-based company that creates digital healthcare hearing tests and and sound personalization profiles based on the tests. Copenhagen’s Circulr Sound creates wearable hearing assistance devices designed to help people stay safe and enjoy life in urban areas. In early January, Mimi and Circulr dropped the news of a new partnership to use Mimi personalized audio profiles with Circulr’s Smart Audio Wearables. The first hearable device to employ Mimi profiles is Circulr’s Hybrid Neckphones.

The Hybrid Neckphone is a combination headphone, wearable, and loudspeaker. Users wear the device like a pair of over-the-head over-ear headphones, but can also wear them around their neck with the speakers facing front. We don’t have specific information about the profiles or exactly how they work with the Hybrid Neckphones, but the goal is immersive sound that doesn’t detract from the wearer’s ability to be away of their surroundings. For example, the wearable and the profile can allow you to listen to a symphony with great enjoyment but still realize that a bicycle rider behind you is ringing a bell and both types of sound adapt to your personal hearing abilities.

Mimi audio technology support in the Hybrid Neckphones is the first of what the companies say will be a range of audio device integrations. The general idea is that, once you have taken the Mimi hearing tests and created a personal audio profile, you can choose devices that support the algorithms that deliver an immersive and safe sound experience. This is similar to decades ago when audio products sported Dolby or SRS Labs logos to indicate their support for audio content with Dolby or SRS enhancements. So you might someday have headphone, a smartphone, a home TV, in-car audio, hearing aids, and other devices that each would support your specific profile. Mimi and Circulr expect the new Hybrid Neckphones will be available in Q1 2022, according to a news release.